Festival of Thrift Interviews-Wayne Hemingway

Here is the second is my series of interviews with the people behind the fabulous Festival of Thrift.
Today, I talk to Wayne Hemingway of Hemingway Designs, co-founder of the Festival.

Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway Picture credit: The Festival of Thrift

1) Can you tell us a little bit about you, and your involvement with the Festival of Thrift?
Gerardine and I went to visit John Orchard at Lingfield Point in Darlington, which is a brilliant example of an old building upcycled, but retaining it’s historical character. We loved the building, but because it’s Darlington, and not in London or Manchester, it wasn’t getting the publicity it deserved. We wanted to help John to promote it, and the idea of a Festival of Thrift seemed to fit well with the building and it’s story. It’s ideally suited to a Festival with lots of great spaces to make use of.

2) The Festival of Thrift seems to have really caught people’s imaginations and last year’s inaugural event was hugely successful. Why do you think it has such appeal?
Quite simply, people enjoy having fun while saving money.
Sustainability and thrift go hand in hand, and cross all kinds of social boundaries. If you haven’t got any money, then thrift is going to be important to you, if you have loads of money, then sustainability might be more important, but it has something for everyone.
The success of the Festival is due to the team behind it. Stella Hall is the best festival director in the country, and combined with the teams at Hemmingway Design and Lingfield Point, it’s a winning combination.

3) What was your favourite part of last year’s event, and what are you most looking forwards to this year?
Seeing so many people turn up, and then come back the next day as they didn’t get to see and do everything in just one day. Just seeing so many happy people!
I like the food-there are some great street food vendors-things like restaurants in camper vans and that kind of things. There are also some unusual interior products that are great to see.
I don’t get time to do any of the workshops, but walking past and smelling the chocolate making workshops is good!
We also have a great guy called the Charity Shop DJ-people have so much fun looking through the vinyl records.


The Charity Shop DJ Picture Credit: The Festival of Thrift

4) Do you think Thrift is just another passing fad, or is it here to stay?
And how do you think Thrift in the 21st Century is different from the post-war era?
If it is a passing fad then we are a pretty sad society. I like to think that human beings are great problem solvers, and things like climate change, resource use, and ethical trading are all things that matter to people.
The economic downturn of the last few years has meant that thrift has become a necessity to many people, and thrift has inevitably evolved and changed over the years, but is as valid now as it’s always been.

5) I’m sure you’ve been asked this a million times before, but can you give us your top Thrifty Tip?!
My favourite tip is to keep the shower caps from hotel stays, and to use it to cover leftovers in the fridge. You can wash them and use them again and again. We rarely have to buy cling-film, unless we haven’t been away, and then I ask friends to bring some back for me.
I always ask the cleaning staff for an extra one, and they must think I’m very strange as I’m bald as a coot, and asking for an extra shower cap!

You can read more about Wayne and the ideas behind The Festival of Thrift on the blog page of the Hemingway Designs website.
The Festival of Thrift is happening this weekend (27th and 28th September) in Darlington. It’s FREE to get in and looks A-MAZING! Do go along if you can, and let me know what you got up to 🙂



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